Kylie Jenner, it’s fantastic that you’ve taken to social media with the #IAmMoreThan campaign to fight back against horrific bullying. By telling the stories of women who have been bullied and fought back, you are inspiring others who’ve been bullied to refuse to let it ruin their lives.
Kylie Jenner, there’s no better way to be an “influencer” when you have 34.6 million Instagram followers, than to leverage your fame to improve the lives of other women. At 18, and already having been in the public eye for years, you’ve experienced your own share of being bullied. “I’ve been bullied since I’ve been 9. From the whole world, it feels like sometimes…and I think that I’ve done a really good job in handling all this,” you said in a June Snapchat video.
Sadly, there are far too many people who get pleasure out of being cruel to other people. They pick on people who they perceive as being weaker than themselves. Bullying someone else makes them feel better about themselves, because they feel so insecure inside. Perhaps they have a terrible home life or have had an awful childhood. But instead of becoming more empathetic to others who might be struggling, they lash out.
Sadly, bullies are everywhere and bullying on social media is even easier and more cowardly to do than in person. That’s why it’s wonderful that you’re using social media yourself, Kylie, to give support each week to an individual who refuses to bow down to bullying. Take Lizzie Velasquez, for example. Lizzie, 26, was born with an extremely rare congenital condition in which she has zero body fat and has never weighed more than 64 lbs. She is unable to gain weight, has to eat many small meals and snacks to survive, is blind in one eye and has a weak immune system.
Fortunately, her condition isn’t terminal and despite her challenges, she attended Texas State University and has written two books for teens including the story of her journey titled Be Beautiful, Be You. Nevertheless, she has been mocked and called “the world’s ugliest woman” by nasty cyberbullies. Lizzie, however, has refused to be deterred by small-minded detractors, and “has taken that negative energy and has turned it around by traveling around the world doing motivational speeches”, as you wrote on Instagram, Kylie. Lizzie gave you and your followers this great advice: “I try to convey that all you need to have is a brave heart to accomplish whatever you want to achieve. Let the negative build you up instead of knocking you down.” Take that, bullies!
#Day6 – I’m obsessed with Em Ford (@MyPaleSkinBlog). She’s a retired model and a current beauty blogger who does dope makeup. She recently revealed on @Instagram that underneath her makeup she has severe acne. “I never had acne when I was a teenager and then at the end of 2014 it just happened. That’s the crazy thing about acne… it doesn’t discriminate on who you are (old, young, black, white, rich, poor)". Her posts of her makeupless selfies resulted in over 100,000 crazy negative comments on her pictures. Em made a very powerful video highlighting the negative comments she received on her social media after the makeupless selfies. The video racked up 8 million views in the first week and has now been viewed over 15 million times. Em’s biggest advice was to “make friends with the person you see in the mirror because that will change your life. It’s really difficult to do and it’s going to take longer than 2 or 3 days… but once you do it will change your life.” Check out Em’s Instagram @MyPaleSkinBlog – she’s proving to the haters that #IAmMoreThan my acne.
Kylie’s #IAmMoreThan Campaign: Em Ford & Others Share Their Stories
Kylie, you also introduced your followers to former model Em Ford, who, like millions of young men and women, suffers from acne. Em was bombarded by 100,000 negative comments after she posted photos of her beautiful face, which was broken out. She was just trying to be honest and show other acne sufferers “that it’s okay not to be perfect”. For God’s sake, acne is the bane of so many young people’s existence.
Em fought back by making and posting a dramatic and moving video showing her naked face, then covering it with makeup and finally removing it again while bullies blasted her with biting comments onscreen. Em’s inspiring message is that “beauty is all about how you feel INSIDE. The moment you let other people’s poison enter your mind is the moment you start to fall. Calling us ugly because of a skin condition doesn’t make you any more beautiful. I could fix my skin and you’ll find something else to hate me for — and that says more about you than I care to think about.”
So true. Bullying says way more about bullies than it does about their victims. Kylie, bringing the issues of bullying in front of the eyes and into the thoughts of your fans is such a positive use of your fame. Hopefully, you won’t just give support and strength to the bullied but will also bring self-awareness to some bullies. If you can give them insight into their own behavior and they stop attacking others, that’s a great accomplishment.
Hollywoodlifers — do you think Kylie is doing the right thing by joining the #IAmMoreThan campaign to stop bullying? Let me know.
— Bonnie Fuller